A year after Azadea Foundation’s revival of the 22,000 sqm Rene Mouawad Sanayeh Garden, one of Beirut’s oldest and most popular gardens, around 11,000 are visiting the garden on weekends and 8,000 during weekdays. Added to that, more than 3000 students from 90 different schools, as well NGOs and other associations visited the garden last year. Free bicycle rides are organized as well for orphans on a weekly basis.
The garden is currently being managed by Azadea Foundation who is providing 7 security guards daily during the weekdays and 11 daily during weekends, and has adopted all maintenance costs for the 10 upcoming years (i.e. security, cleaning, water, electricity, fountain and greenery).
Needless to say, it’s great to see so many people visiting the garden and I hope similar initiatives will be taken to reopen other public gardens and more specifically Horch Beirut which has been closed for years by Beirut’s municipality for fear of vandalism and poor maintenance. A lot of people have been asking for the Horch to be reopened for the public but I’m not 100% with this idea without taking the proper measures. Nevertheless, I think Beirut’s municipality should make it its utmost priority to adopt a plan to reopen the Horch and other gardens given that it can easily afford doing so.
Until then, we need more private initiative to increase the number of green spaces in Lebanon and maintain them just like Azadea did with the Sanayeh Garden.
PS: Pets are still not allowed at Sanayeh garden for hygiene purposes (no one picks up his pet’s poop in Lebanon).
I normally respect traffic laws and I’m not a reckless driver but I sometimes do check my phone when I’m stuck in traffic and the cars are not moving. I also don’t think it’s wrong to answer your phone (using speakers or ugly blue-tooth headsets) but I heard this is not even allowed in the new traffic law which doesn’t really make sense.
In all cases, I was driving from Adonis towards Kaslik last weekend and we were barely moving when I received a phone call that I had to take, so as I was about to pick up the phone and put it on speaker my wife notifies me that there’s a police officer on his bike passing right next to us, so I quickly gave her the phone hoping that he didn’t notice anything. As it turns out, there were two cops actually, the first one on the bike was texting or playing on his smartphone and the other was looking the other way. It’s definitely not the first time I spot cops breaking the law, but it would have been the first time that I am fined by a policeman breaking the law himself. I was wondering how I would have reacted to that if he truly had stopped me. Few hours later, I received the above picture via whatsapp.
Needless to say, we should still abide by the new traffic law and hope that everyone, including policemen and politicians, do the same. Things have improved drastically in the past couple of months but it’s still too early to judge success of this new law.
Summer is back and Tawlit Ammiq as well – By PolSamuel
You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.
Sanayeh garden was renovated one year ago – Photo by Saad
Iris beach club – by Karim
Beautiful Bekaa – by Sacha el Aref
Gone fishing – by Samer
Flying high – by Ahmad
Zahle Zahle Zahletna – by MishoRicha
Kafa organized a demonstration yesterday in front of the National Musuem to end domestic violence against women and in support of the victims’ families, specially after the brutal murder of Sara al Amin a week ago. On the same day and in a different location, a man was caught on camera beating a woman inside her car. Al Jadeed are saying he’s an official and that the woman is his wife but I can’t confirm both. What’s sure is that he was beating her in public and no one intervened to help the poor woman, which brings me back to the post I wrote a few days ago on how Lebanese need to protect women being assaulted in public or inside their houses.
If I had seen this guy, I would have definitely rushed and kept him away from this woman and I am sure a lot of people would have done the same. I am not here blaming the guy who filmed the whole thing as it’s a personal choice after all, but we need to take action against abusive individuals and shame them while protecting the victim.
I will follow up on this story and see if this guy’s name is revealed since he’s an official and the head of a municipality according to Al Jadeed.
Lebanese Memes shared earlier today a short video of a Lebanese nun (probably abroad) playing the derbaké. She reminded me of the singing nun who won Italy’s the Voice last year and she should consider applying to the Voice because she’s pretty cool.
Funnily enough, some people didn’t like the fact that she’s a religious person trying to look cool and have fun. I wish these people would mind their own business and leave that nun alone because she’s already doing a better job (religiously speaking) by being a nun and dedicating her life to serving her church and helping people.
Check her out [here] and if anyone has a longer video, please do share.
After launching back in July in Beirut, Uber is now live in Jounieh and its coverage has extended to the following areas: Baabda, Mansourieh, Zalka, Jal El Dib, Cornet Chehwan, Aoukar, Mtaileb, Bayada, Zouk Mosbeh, Adonis, Kaslik, Jounieh, Adma, Tabarja etc …
I use Uber whenever I have plans in Beirut as it saves me the trouble of finding a parking spot because I will never give my car to the valet. The drivers are friendly and drive safely, the trips are smooth and the cost is the same as other taxi services if not less. I’m glad they finally extended their coverage to Jounieh because I live there and I sometimes don’t feel like driving all the way to Beirut, specially when I’m going to drink and party.
For those of you who didn’t try Uber yet, the app is available for [Android] and [iOS]. You can test out the service by entering promo code “HelloJOUNIEH” which grants you 2 FREE uberX rides up to $20 per trip.
I read on their blog as well that they are offering free rides valid through Sun, May 31st at 11:59pm on all trips beginning beyond Nahr El Kalb tunnel ONLY (Jounieh side).
PS: I will be doing soon a review of all online taxi services available in Lebanon. I’ve tried so far Allo Taxi, Uber. There’s still Careem on my list. If you know others, please do share the names.
A big fire broke out around 2am today at Skybar Beirut causing some major damages. I’m not really sure what happened as I was unable to get in touch with anyone yet but I read in the Daily Star that it could be due to an electrical short circuit.
Skybar was scheduled to open next week but I’m not sure they can fix all this mess in time. I will keep you posted as soon as I have updates but I’m sure we will be partying there this summer
PS: I’ve shared a status earlier on Facebook and I will repeat it here. Making jokes out of this sad incident is like shooting yourself in the foot. Even if we don’t like the place and think it’s for the fancy people (which is not the case), Skybar Beirut is an international touristic attraction that everyone wants to visit and enjoy. Skybar has shaped and revolutionized #Beirut’s nightlife scene.
More importantly, tens if not hundreds of families will be affected by this fire not just the party goers so think about that before making silly jokes.
Update1: Skybar probably won’t be open this summer unfortunately. I am not sure yet if they will relocate to another place.
PS: I don’t know who took the pictures above. MTV has more pictures [here].
This is the flag of the Trucial States, which were a group of sheikhdoms in the south eastern Persian Gulf and signatories to treaties with the British government and later on became the United Arab Emirates in 1971. As you can see, the flag is pretty much the Lebanese flag without the Cedar tree.
I looked up the meaning of the flag, and while the red was a traditional color, the white was imposed by the British in order to distinguish friends from pirates in the sea and the seven-pointed star referred to the 7 sheikhdoms. I can’t really confirm if the flag was inspired from the Lebanese one but the star was added in the 1960s, which is around 20 years after the Lebanese flag was declared.
There are things you can get used to in Lebanon, like traffic and reckless driving but some things just don’t make any sense and no matter how many times I see them, I can’t get over them:
Here are some of the things that annoy me on my way from Jounieh to Achrafieh every day:
1- All of Jounieh’s intersections don’t make any sense. They just cause more traffic.
2- The military base in the highly touristic ATCL area. Why don’t they relocate to a calmer and less crowded area?
3- The small adjacent road to the Dbayyeh – Antelias highway.
4- The ISF headquarters on the main Dbayyeh maritime road: Every time a car is entering the base, recruiting new people or holding an event, they stop traffic and it’s hell. Even the army guys like to jog on that maritime road for some reason blocking one of the lanes. Military bases should be in remote areas in my opinion for their own safety and our convenience.
5- The 200 bumps at the end of the Marina Dbayyeh maritime road. I’m eager to meet the guy who decided to put 6 consecutive bumps there.
6- The wasta shortcut road: This is what I call a traffic booster in Lebanon.
7- The unfinished Nahr el Mot bridge portrayed in the picture above. I also want to meet the engineer who designed the bridge to end that way.
8- People crossing the highway underneath the pedestrian bridge.
9- The very illogical Nahr el Mot main bridge in the middle of the road.
10- The Beirut Saifi (Kataeb) intersection where cars are coming in every direction.
The number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon has surpassed the 1 million mark this year, and our country has the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world with 257 refugees per per 1,000 inhabitants yet we’ve been having a major shortage of Syrian skilled workers ever since the Lebanese authorities decided to impose visa restrictions. Lebanon’s agricultural sector is among the most severely hit as the number of laborers dropped by nearly 80 percent and this shortage is becoming a serious issue for other sectors as well.
The reason for that shortage is that Syrian workers are now subject to a Kafala sponsorship system, which means that they need a Lebanese to sponsor their stay. Moreover, they have to pay $200 upon their entry into Lebanon and an extra $65 for the paper work required. As a result, Syrian workers are not willing (or are unable) to pay almost $300 to work for few months in Lebanon while Lebanese companies are struggling to find workers at affordable prices. A friend of mine, who owns a cleaning company, told me the Syrian worker’s average salary has gone up by some $200 in the past couple of months as the demand is really high and there aren’t that many Syrian workers left in the country. On another hand, Syrian workers are struggling to find Lebanese sponsors.
Personally speaking, I still think the visa restrictions were much needed but they probably need to be amended to facilitate things for seasonal workers coming from Syria as they need the money and we need them in Lebanon. Until then, I hope this will encourage Lebanese to replace the Syrian workers noting that we have 1.5 Million Lebanese below the poverty line. The argument that “Lebanese are not used to this type of work” is not valid because when you’re poor, you need to work and any work is better than staying home. There’s one thing that I’m worried about though, is that local businessmen might start recruiting Syrian kids to do the job.
I believe this is the first time we’ve ever had a shortage in Syrian workers ever since the Hariri assassination in 2005 and the withdrawal of Syrian troops.